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Metta World Peace gets assessed a retroactive flagrant-2, now a flagrant away from an automatic suspension.
Metta World Peace and elbows continue to make for a bad marriage. During Monday's loss to the Nuggets, MWP made elbowular contact to the head of forward Kenneth Faried. Not much was made of the incident in the moment, and truth be told, I've seen worse. But enough of a stink rose afterward to grab the league's attention. After an extra look, MWP was hit with a punishment.
Per Eric Pincus of the L.A. Times:
The NBA has retroactively given Metta World Peace a flagrant foul for a play in Denver against the Nuggets on Monday.
In the final seconds of the third quarter, World Peace connected with an elbow to what looks like the face of Nuggets forward Kenneth Faried. No foul was called live by the officials (which would have meant an ejection), but the league upgraded the call on review.
World Peace now leads the league in flagrant foul points with five, tied with teammate Dwight Howard.
If either commits even a Flagrant 1, the lesser offense, they will face a one-game suspension. A Flagrant 2 would result in a mandatory two-game suspension.
Even with just 24 games remaining, this makes me nervous. Metta's basketball existence is spent under a high-powered microscope (largely through his own doing) and he's been suspended at least one game each season or postseason dating back to 2010-2011. He'll need to be exceptionally careful from this point forward, and unfortunately, that's just not MWP's style. Thus, I'm not entirely confident he can avoid punishment between now and mid-April.
Metta is among my favorite guys in the league -- much less on the Lakers -- and I've consistently maintained he's inherently a very good person. However, he's also cursed with impulse control issues. MWP just doesn't think much before he acts. And while this often leads to absolutely hysterical one-liners, it's just as likely to produce odd decisions on the court. Sometimes, they're as (relatively) harmless as a poorly executed one-man fast break. Others, unfortunately, occasionally leave him on the bad side of Stu Jackson and the gang. This was one of those occasions.